We all know we should “have our teeth cleaned” for healthy, white teeth, but did you know that oral health is directly related to overall health? It’s true! Receiving a dental cleaning on a regular basis such as the suggested at least every six months greatly affects your overall health.
The first time you visit our hygiene department to have your teeth cleaned, you receive much more than just that basic “cleaning.” We will begin with a complete periodontal chart – a base line evaluation of the condition of each of your teeth and your soft tissue. That gives us a reference, and at least once a year there after, we will do another checkup to evaluate your overall oral health – what’s working, what’s not, and how we can best help you stay in the very best oral health. Using our state of the art digital equipment, this chart will be stored electronically with your other information – including x-rays and intraoral photographs, if you require them — so you have a complete care record. This procedure, which only takes a few minutes, is part of every dental cleaning.
This periodontal charting also evaluates your gingival health, looking for “pockets” between the gums and teeth, where disease and germs can multiply. With this screening, we can help you avoid the periodontal diseases which cause the loss of the supporting bone, ligaments and soft tissue around your teeth. This periodontal destruction can be caused by bacteria through plaque or calculus (tartar) accumulation, smoking, diabetes or other health problems or genetics. Also known as gum disease, periodontal disease can greatly increase your risk of heart attack or stroke.
Because dental health is related to overall health, our patients receive an evaluation of their medical history at their first and all dental appointments. This will include listing any new/past medical concerns (Example: hypertension or joint replacement) and listing all medications taken. We monitor blood pressure not only to decrease the risk of medical emergencies, as well as, monitoring your overall systemic health.
Once your gingival health is assessed through the periodontal charting, the type of dental cleaning you require will be established. We will tailor the type of cleaning and care you receive to your exact needs.
A typical Adult/Child Prophylaxis or cleaning is most often used for a patient who has healthy gingiva and no signs of periodontal disease.
For a patient with active periodontal disease, a deeper cleaning called “Scaling and Root Planing” is required. Completed on a patient who has active periodontal disease, SCRP is designed to achieve soft tissue reattachment of the gingiva and ligaments to the tooth, lessening those “pockets” of infection and germs. This procedure, which can be done comfortably much like a regular tooth cleaning, will save tooth loss and restore healthy systemic state.
After your cleaning your dental hygienist will decide what radiographs (x-rays) should be taken. Radiographs let the doctor look for any dental decay or abnormalities in your mouth. X-rays are taken on a case by case basis according to what is best for the individual. Our low-radiation digital x-rays are available instantly, and give the doctor a clear picture of your dental health.
Every hygiene appointment includes an evaluation by Dr. Mitakides. During this exam he will carefully examine teeth, tongue and gums, as well as your x-rays. If he finds a problem area, he will take time to carefully explain what you might need, and discuss a care plan. Additionally, all patients at our office receive an oral cancer screening at their appointments. This screening evaluates all the soft tissue in your mouth including your cheeks and tongue.
Our hygiene department also offers fluoride treatments for strong, healthy teeth, which are sometimes recommended, on a case- by – case basis. We will be happy to discuss your options.
And, if you are looking for a brighter smile, our office offers professional teeth whitening. Speak with your dental hygienist or dental assistant to see if you are a good candidate for whitening, which will be carefully achieved so as not to damage the teeth.
We welcome your questions about our hygiene department, our services and all we can do to keep you healthy! Contact us at or email@example.com.